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TUSCALOOSA — Forget the 3-point line. Alabama did it one at a time Saturday afternoon.
Crawling out of its painful four-game losing streak, the Crimson Tide hammered away at Arkansas from the free-throw line. Slipping away with a 72-66 win meant nailing 20 of 25 without defenders, while missing all but two of 15 from the perimeter.
Oh, and toss in a little of that high-pressure defense, and Alabama (14-7, 3-4 SEC) found the slump-busting recipe for its 500th win in an antsy Coleman Coliseum.
Struggling veterans Tony Mitchell and JaMychal Green broke out of their own respective downturns to spark the final surge against the Razorbacks.
The top two offensive threats scored seven straight points late in the second half to give Alabama the lead for good.
Green had 10 of his 14 after halftime, while Trevor Releford had a game-high 18. Mitchell chipped in 11, and Andrew Steele came off the bench to score a career-high 11 and dish out six assists — a season high for any Alabama player.
It came down to aggressive play on the offensive end, Steele said.
“I think we took advantage of the way they wanted to guard us a lot of things,” he said. “I think our will to win was a lot greater than it has been in the past. You can tell in our eyes that we were not going to give up because we needed that one.”
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